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Halifax 1 Accrington Stanley 1

ANDY Gouck has been a hit on and off the pitch - with the Stanley fans giving him his own song.

ANDY Gouck has been a hit on and off the pitch - with the Stanley fans giving him his own song.

The Reds faithful have been singing "Who let the Gouck out" to the tune of "Who let the dogs out" after the former Rochdale man scored two goals in Stanley's last two draws.

The draw at Halifax was a disappointment as the Reds felt they deserved all three points but Gouck is happy with his contribution to Stanley's charge for the Conference play-offs.

He does, however, admit he had a helping hand on Tuesday.

"My goal did take a slight deflection - but it was only a slight one, it hardly mattered!" joked the 31-year-old midfielder, who is glad he has given the Stanley fans something to sing about.

"It is always nice to score. I have always been a goal-scoring midfielder and set myself the target of eight to 10 goals every season.

"But I am just happy to be playing - especially at my age. I have had to work hard to get into the team and I have done okay and scored a couple of goals.

"We are nine games unbeaten and we matched Halifax in every department and they are a full-time club. We weren't outclassed and we could have taken the lead.

"It is a great set-up here, and the fans were fantastic on Tuesday - I will reserve judgement on my song!"

There was a big following among the 2116 crowd from Accrington who were in good voice at the Shay.

"It was a good atmosphere, the pitch was great and you just have to look at the surroundings," said boss John Coleman.

"Where would you rather be - Frickley or Blyth on a Tuesday night or here? That is what I asked the players at half-time. It shows how far we have come that we are disappointed with a point here."

Stanley were straight at a recently rejuvenated Halifax from the off - Lutel James firing across the face of the goal in the first 12 seconds.

But Halifax found their feet with Christian Lee scuffing a shot and Lee Elam's downward header going wide.

They took the lead when Elam crossed from the left and Lee was left unmarked and it was easy for him to tap home.

"Steve Halford held his hand up - he let the lad go," said Coleman. "But after that we defended well as a team."

Halford was given the nod in the centre of the defence as Coleman tried to switch things around after the Reds conceded six goals in the last two games. Jonathan Smith paid the price and dropped to the bench.

Andy Procter came back into midfield following his one match suspension as Coleman started with 4-5-1, leaving Paul Mullin up front alone.

But James, Rory Prendergast, Paul Cook and Andy Procter got forward whenever they could and the Reds were back on level terms just six minutes later.

A Prendergast corner was cleared to Gouck who shot through a packed area and the ball tucked in low in the corner of the net.

"We needed to reply quickly and I knew when the ball came out to me that I should just hit it," said Gouck. "It was good to see it go in!"


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
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